Marks of careers are not always a splash out the gate like fantasy owners would like. General managers and coaches are just as impatient with player development. Well, maybe not to the extent of some fantasy owners, who’ll drop a player every other day. But there is certain value in player’s still in prominent roles that have yet to reach their potential.
Going into a fantasy football draft these type of players are likely on your radar as mid-round picks. They’re low-risk because other fantasy owners are concentrating on filling their starters and likely don’t have the same mindset as you for sleepers.
Of course if this “sleeper” pick doesn’t pan out its not the end of the world. They can end up being the next Beanie Wells or transform like Thomas Jones did.
Down in Miami stock is currently set low on running back Lamar Miller. Miami spent money to bring in Knowshown Moreno and the summer spotlight has been focusing on Miami new and improved offensive system. Eyes have been completely drawn off of Lamar Miller as the focus is on Ryan Tannehill, the coaching staff, and free agent additions.
For once though, Miller will be in prime position to get a firm stake as a Dolphins running back and therefore supplant himself on the fantasy radar. As a rookie, Miami’s offense was in disarray. They had poor weapons at the receiver and tight end position and were dealing with a rookie in Ryan Tannehill. Last year’s offense just had no rhyme or reason to it. The play calling was awful and affected not only Tannehill but the entire offense.
Not to mention the big scandal with the Dolphins offensive line with Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. This came a year after losing offensive line centerpiece, Jake Long, to free agency to St. Louis. Throughout all the turmoil and rumor mill of what was going on with the MIami’s offensive line no one attributed the Dolphins poor ground game to it.
If anything you would of had to rate the Dolphins ground game last year above standard for the inconsistent play calling and issues with the offensive line. Stabilization is in place this year which can only mean growth for this team.
I believe Miller will have a mini-break out season for the Dolphins. Miller will be used more consistent even with the signing of Knowshown Moreno. Last year he had five games with over fifteen carries and six games with eight or fewer carries. That is a team choosing to abandon the running game similar to the Cowboys choose to.
If Miami develops a proper pattern of running the football I think Miller’s career will finally show progress.Years ago in the early 2000’s, Thomas Jones also had a rough time developing as a running back. It was not completely his fault as the Arizona Cardinals had no running game to think of developing.
Looking at both Jones and Miller you can draw comparisons of skill set and size. For the first three years of Jones career in Arizona he barely registered a 500 yard season. It took landing in Chicago and the New York Jets for Jones career to take off properly. The only difference from his tenure with those teams and Arizona was the utilization of Jones. Once he was used properly and consistently the results paid off for the teams that brought Jones in.
It’s not going to take Miller leaving Miami for the Dolphins to realize they made a mistake. They kept him on board as their starter for a reason. In practice he has shown the ability and in stints on the field he has as well.
If you’re looking for a bona-fide running back sleeper, Miller is your guy. The detraction of attention is there with the signing of Moreno. The drawback is stuck in fantasy minds due to his low touchdowns and ineffective use as a Dolphin.
Grab yourself a no-risk sleeper in Miller in the mid-rounds of your draft.